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CCP Games announced that it’s focusing on accessible onboarding for new players with the launch of its newest Eve Online update, dubbed Quadrant 3: Gateway. It is also taking Eve Online to the Epic Games Store soon.
The Reykjavik, Iceland-based CCP Games has been operating the sci-fi MMO for 18 years, and the game makes a lot of money, even with its relatively small but loyal base of hundreds of thousands. CEO Hilmar Veigar Pétursson said in a recent interview with GamesBeat that it’s a top priority to reduce the time it takes for new players to have a really satisfying experience in the game.
Much like the virtual world Second Life, Eve Online has the makings of a metaverse, the universe of virtual worlds that are all interconnected, like in novels such as Snow Crash and Ready Player One. But one of the barriers is that it’s such a rich universe that it can be intimidating to new players. And CCP acknowledges it needs to do more about that.
CCP Games has released Gateway, the third update for the year, and introduced the first installment of Eve Online’s revamped new player experience and skill training. CCP Games has also announced that it is launching Eve Online on the Epic Games Store on September 23, bringing its flagship game to more players.
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Gateway focuses on a series of themed activities welcoming new and returning players to Eve Online.
As you can see from the trailer embedded in this post, Eve Online’s revamped onboarding experience is more about the narrative. It introduces players to a fresh cast of characters that teach the essential features and controls, including how to pilot a ship, survive a firefight, make money. After completing the training program, players will have a solid understanding of how to thrive amongst the stars, the company said.
New player experience
Creative director Bergur Finnbogason said in an email to GamesBeat that it’s the best time in Eve’s history to fly into New Eden.
“We have rebuilt the new player experience with a rich, emotionally-driven narrative that is available to pilots when they log into Eve Online for the first time. This is the first installment of our revamped new player experience that teaches the basics of how to play Eve, including how to fly a ship, survive a firefight, and make money. We will continue to update and improve our new player onboarding processes to make Eve accessible to new players,” Finnbogason said.
In addition, Quadrant 3: Gateway will add new content and balance updates, such as changes to resource distribution that signal the start of greater updates to the scarcity of resources in New Eden.
“The revamped New Player Experience offers players a chance to learn Eve Online in a self-contained environment that is detached from the rest of the game’s universe,” he said. “The training program introduces a cast of characters that teach key information in an engaging way, preparing players on what to expect and fend for themselves.”
Players can expect to see further resource distribution changes in the fourth Quadrant of 2021, which kicks off in November. The Quadrant 3: Gateway update also introduces customizable skill training and a series of events and activities dedicated to welcoming new players into Eve Online.
As part of the revamped skill system, Gateway also introduces customizable skill plans to Eve Online. Created with character development in mind, skill plans allow players to build, and share, a list of skills without purchasing or injecting them first. The streamlined system provides players with a better understanding of how skills function and help achieve aspirational goals.
Earlier this year CCP Games launched Eve Academy, an information hub designed to help players set goals and learn vital information about the game’s complex mechanics all in one easy-to-navigate place. Eve Academy features videos, guides, and articles that outline the four main career paths in Eve: Explorer, Industrialist, Enforcer, and Soldier of Fortune. Each path has unique areas of focus that enables Capsuleers (players) to live out their space-fantasy with unparalleled freedom, Finnbogason said.
Eve Online is also introducing skill plans, a revamped skill management system, as part of the content update. Skill plans help give players a clear understanding of what they need to do to achieve their goals. They can map out their ideal skills early on without having to purchase them, setting them on a path for success. Players can also share their skill plans with each other, giving Eve veterans an easy way to share their experience and knowledge with new players.
Eve Online has about 300,000 to 400,000 active players per month across subscribers and free-to-play players. Since launch, the game has accumulated around 4 million unique subscribers and 25 million unique users globally.
The new player experience and skill plans, as well as the previously launched Eve Academy, provide players with a wide range of options to learn the game. The training program is only part of what it takes to successfully onboard players, but it serves as the foundation for their overall experience. CCP Games is committed to continually improving the early game experience over time.
This quadrant and continued improvements to the game are setting up Eve for its third decade of service. Welcoming new players is an essential part to this goal, as the company wants to give everyone a chance to experience the wonders of New Eden and join its vibrant community.
“We understand Eve Online has a reputation for being intimidating to new players. We are working towards tearing down the barriers-to-entry to make the game accessible to anyone who wants to play. Players now have more ways they can learn how to survive in Eve Online’s sprawling universe,” Finnbogason said. “We have also rallied our community to welcome new players who are entering New Eden. Many of our veteran Capsuleers take pride in accepting and guiding new players. We are grateful that we all have the same goal: everyone wants to see the game grow and prosper, and this happens when we open up our community.”
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